Can you please tell us a bit about you?
I graduated from Warwick Economics in 2015, and straight after graduation I went on to complete a Postgraduate course at Cambridge in Entrepreneurship. It was a more practical version of a Master’s degree, and the key element for me was to meet peers of various ages, who had either started already companies or had the same vision of becoming business owners.
I wanted to start a business since I was a child and I thought this was the time to start - when I am young and have few responsibilities. I also took on a role in sales at the same time, to improve my sales skills which are of course fundamental when starting your own business. This was quite a different route to my peers from Warwick Economics.
What is your current role and do you use any of the knowledge and skills you gained when studying Economics at Warwick?
I am the CEO and Founder at HealthClic. My main role is to lead the growth strategy for the business in line with our vision, oversee sales/customer relations, and make key marketing decisions. I am also the point of contact for our VIP members, who registered with us early on.
The most helpful skills I learned at Warwick while studying Economics were definitely relating to calculating business finances (working with profits and numbers in my problem sets helped!), but also the concepts used in game theory and behavioural economics really helped me to understand business. They made me more aware of how to present ourselves to new customers and partners. I also really appreciated the business modules I did as part of my degree, which helped me in building a clear brand identity from early on.
What was the most important aspect of your experience at Warwick that you remember and value in your professional and personal life?
I would say that generally the skill of working independently and staying motivated was something I first learned at Warwick, as many students learn when they first go to university, and it helped when I was setting up my business and running it in the early days. This also ties into learning how to make new friends and connections when you are a first year undergraduate student and in a completely new setting.
It can be quite lonely when you choose to start your own business, especially when you are not part of a grad scheme like your other friends, and without having many people going through the same experience as you. That skill of working independently is probably the most useful take-away from university experience. I think it is very helpful on a personal level too; as you can utilise those skills of building new friends/connections while working independently, to foster long-term relationships which may be useful in business too. It is so important to continue to build new connections and friendships after university, so you can continue to learn and build a strong network.
Do you keep in touch with any of your Warwick Economics friends?
Of course! While it isn’t possible to keep in touch with everyone, I found that most of my peers moved to London to start their careers in finance and consulting, so we were all in the same place. While this was quite challenging initially, as I was far from being in a large cohort of graduates joining a grad scheme, I soon appreciated being different and enjoyed having friends who weren’t doing the same thing. It is important to remember that from university you also maintain helpful connections and meaningful friendships for life, and the friendships made at university are very different to friendships you would make later on.
What qualities do you think are most important to being successful in your role?
I think you have to be quite open to new ideas and methods of doing things – for example, you may meet two very different manager personalities, to whom you would need to adapt in order to best work with them. This is important because the managers will definitely be adapting to suit your style of work as well.
You would also need to be open to new ideas, and learning how to best approach certain situations. There is definitely value in having and voicing your own ideas, but you should be open to learning from managers, directors and partners who have a wealth of experience behind them.
How important is it for you to keep in touch with your alma mater?
I feel it is very important to keep in touch with your university. At the very least other existing undergraduates can learn of the various paths taken by Economics alumni, and that there are so many options out there for them. The real world is very different to university, and it is always good to remember where you came from and who helped you, including your university institution.
What are your plans for 2020?
My plans for 2020 include growing a new area in the business, which focuses on philanthropic activities. While it is something we only commenced at the start of 2019, we ended up working on some very exciting yet extremely complex medical cases. We soon began working with global teams of specialists at leading hospitals, once we realised that the UK healthcare sector is perhaps not equipped to deal with all such cases. There is scope to help more families and make a difference. This is something we will be working to take forward this year. My plans on a personal level also include to take more time to reflect and reset; something I found to be key when running your own company.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to current students?
I would say to follow your own vision and don’t compromise or feel like you have to fit what everyone else is doing. You are young so it’s better to go for what you want now, while you may not have any major life responsibilities like mortgages, marriages or children for example. It is harder to explore and do what you want, once you reach those stages in your life.
Remember that doing Economics at Warwick is such a blessing. An economics degree helps you understand numbers, profits, revenues and costs. Behavioural economics helps you understand reaching optimal solutions and first-best outcomes. It helps you to see life in a different way; which is helpful beyond careers in banking and finance. If the financial industry isn't truly your calling, then don't worry!
Finally, I would say once you graduate the best way to approach employers, new colleagues or new partnerships is to stay positive and energetic. People are keen on working with those with a positive, can-do attitude and mindset. Those who take responsibility, have high social intelligence and are willing to grow. Skills can easily be taught, but a mindset can't. It's better to just go for it and keep learning rather than try to be perfect first (paralysis by analysis..). And... your Economics degree has really helped you develop this unique mind set! Warwick Use it to your advantage.